Entries by KJ Charles

Everyday Terror: thoughts on scary stories

I’m writing scary stories at the moment. (I was meant to have written one scary story, but the characters kind of ran away with me and now I feel a novel coming on.) My stories are the tales of a Victorian ghost hunter. Now, if you’re writing Victorian ghost stories, the master is MR James. […]

The ego has landed: Musing on reviews

This week I learned that The Magpie Lord would be coming out in print. I am not a print snob – it’s a real book if people read it – but there is still something entirely delicious about the idea of putting a copy of my book on my shelves, and knowing that in years […]

In Someone Else’s Story: life as a minor character

Back in the day, before I became a responsible washing-machine-fixing parent type, I travelled round Egypt with a boyfriend. This meant many interminable, uncomfortable bus journeys. On one of them, we were sat next to a pair of American backpackers. My boyfriend and the male backpacker talked across the aisle, while the girlfriends in the […]

Ten Rules for Writing Joyless Books

My children are avid sticker book consumers. (Bear with me: this is an extended metaphor, not a parenting blog post.) At first they simply wanted to jam the stickers onto the pages, upside down, off the edges, covering each other in great lumps of shiny paper, just for the pleasure of playing with sticky things. […]

Teasers and backstory: Holmes vs Harry Potter

“Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson,” said Holmes in a reminiscent voice. “It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.” Conan Doyle was the master of the teaser. The Holmes tales are packed with little […]

The Art of the Blurb: How to write back cover copy

Many authors, both self pubbed and those with small publishers, find themselves writing their own back cover copy. Or, at least, staring at a blank screen thinking, ‘Do I have to?’ Yes, you do. The blurb is your biggest and best opportunity to sell your book. It’s what readers see. It’s their reason to click […]